Drinking the Pee Punch, A Tale of Two Speeches Pt. 1

As we know, things are f-ed up big time. Quality faculty and staff are being fired, others are bolting, and others who were non-renewed/fired then told they weren't non-renewed/fired are now being non-renewed/fired so names are being besmirched. Morale is touching bottom and KY & Co. want us to know that it's all our fault.

I keep recalling KY's April Board tirade, partly because I transcribed it, but mostly because something bothered me about it. It's this line: "The no confidence vote is once thing, the crap that’s going on around it is something entirely else. I am disappointed, but I am mostly ashamed of the handful of people on this campus, who, for their deliberate distortions and exaggeration if not outright [uncertain] have created a second story here."

For further elaboration, allow me to put together a scene for you: The president of some organization, say Starbucks, Walmart, or a small community college, holds a party for all his or her employees. There's hors d'oeuvres, cocktail weenies, and punch. Only instead of Hi-C or Orange drink, it's a big ol' bowl of pee. And this president is serving the pee punch and not calling it pee punch, but Fruity Yellow Banana Pineapple punch or something.

So, everyone's drinking the punch, thinking it tastes like pee, but trusting their president. Then, when you point out to the president that the punch is really pee, and the president finally says "yeah, it's pee" and everybody gets mad and leaves (except for a few people who love the taste of pee), the president blames you for ruining the party. Here it is as a skit--and just so no one believes I'm trying to insinuate our college president would make us drink pee, I'm going to use a public utilities company and a fictitious president: Yen Ko of Con Edison Electric.
Yen Ko: Welcome to Con Edison's Employee Respect and Recognition Party, have some Fruity Yellow Banana Pineapple Punch, a nice big glass.

You: Thanks! You know, you're not as bad as I thought.

YK: Well, that's what all new employees say when they first meet me.

You: You're right, this is the first time we've met. I've worked here for three years.

YK: Great! Glad to have you aboard. Have another glass of punch.

You: This smells funny and looks like urine.

YK: I assure you with all my integrity that it's not pee.

You: No, I think it's pee. I have a toddler old and an incontinent dog. I know pee.

YK: You're right, it's pee. I pissed in every single cup.

Marv Steelowe, Reed Drab, & Harry Savitch (Overhearing the conversation): OMFG! Hey everybody, you're drinking pee! Put down your plastic punch cups!

(everybody leaves)

YK: Way to go, jerk, you just ruined the party! If you cared anything about Con Edison, you wouldn't have said anything about my pee in everyone's drinks. It's your fault no one likes me now! I hate you and have no respect for you!
So, metaphorically, we're drinking pee and most are pretending not to mind and doing it for the good of the college. Some of us have put down the cups and walked away. Others have called attention to the pee punch and been kicked in the face (fired).

Meanwhile, the punch keeps coming. A new bowl is being poured (with flavorings of salary increase cuts) while we still struggle to swallow the previous bowl. Just how bitter is it?

As the Illuminator
points out, while "Edison faculty, in a previous year, took a pay raise of ~1% in good faith to not only help the college, but also in the understanding the following two years would carry a 4% increase," KY is receiving annual salary as the Illuminator reported the his salary and extra compensation ($22K per Brad's comment below) at $179,706. The number isn't that important--I'm not going to begrudge someone his pay just because he makes 18 times the salary of an adjunct teaching a full load at the top of the pay scale. That's not the issue (though I can be bitter!).

Page two of a
Dayton Daily News article from May 2007 reports Yowell made $152,440 without disclosing other compensation.   Are Yowell & Co. bearing the same "sacrifice" as the rest?  I would love to believe they were and that his annual increase is not above that of the rest of faculty and staff (as I had previously reported--thank you Brad for your quick correction).

Finally, that garnish in last year's Infinity-sized pee punch bowl? A new lease agreement on a "
complimentary car worth twice a newly-hired faculty member's salary?"

While the majority of us doing the actual work of the school (teaching, advising, registering, collecting money, cleaning up, keeping the place running), we're being told to make sacrifices for the good of the college so it can continue for the good of the students during this rough time that is completely out of the college's control, those who are making these demands of sacrifice don't appear to be sacrificing a damn thing (Why an Infinity?  Why not a nice Nissan or a Ford Escape or Ford Fusion?) .

Since it's all talk and no action, why should we listen? How do we not listen?

Stay tuned for Part 2 where we'll find inspiration in another speech.


Brad Reed said...

Two clarifications: First, the difference in the reported salary for KY is that the ~$150K number is "salary" while the ~$179K number is "compensation," meaning "salary" plus "deferred compensation" which is an additional annual payment of some $22K paid to KY, plus, presumably, his $800/month car allowance, or perhaps other non-salary compensation (maybe someone can look at his contract and see what all goes into "compensation."

Which brings me to the second clarification: KY drives not a Lexus but an Infinity G37 S, clearly identifiable by the Notre Dame "ND" insignia prominently displayed in the rear window (the tentatively-tucked Edison staff parking sticker, not so much).

No one of importance said...

Thanks Brad. I'll correct.